The Veterans Administration provides an important benefit for veterans who have a service-connected disability. This benefit is called "Compensation" and is different from the non-service-connected "Pension" benefit that elder law attorneys often discuss with wartime veteran clients or their surviving spouses.
Like pension, VA compensation comes in the form of income-tax-free money payments to the veteran, who must have received a discharge other than dishonorable, and to certain of their family members. The big difference from the pension program, however, is that VA compensation entirely flows from the linkage between the veteran's disability (or death)and his or her military service.
The VA website is the best place to get information about the Compensation program and the presumptive disease list. It is a good idea for all advisors to check the VA website presumptive disease list at least annually in order to be aware of newly added diseases on the list. Just mentioning this program and the presumptive disease list to a Vietnam-era veteran, the surviving spouse, children, or parents of a Vietnam veteran can make a huge financial difference for them, as well as providing some peace of mind and answers to health questions that may otherwise plague them.